Thinking Theologically About Racism: A Short Course for Faculty

This course offers a unique opportunity to learn with faculty colleagues/peers. All faculty are welcome to attend.
The course will be offered in 3 class sessions spread out over 3 months this spring:
Friday, April 30 from 5:00-6:30pm ET: Session 1: Humanity in the Biblical Vision: The Roots of Unity and Diversity. Dr. Elizabeth Sung
Thursday, May 20 from 6:30-8:00pm ET (tentative date): Session 2: The Good Life and the Good Person in the Biblical Vision: Seeking God’s Kingdom and Righteousness as Jesus’ Disciples. Dr. Elizabeth Sung
Tuesday, June 22 from 7:30-9:00pm ET (tentative date): Session 3: Case Studies of Theology in Practice: The Theology of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in conversation with contemporary practitioners. Dr. Jeff Liou, Dr. Robert Chao Romero, and Dr. Elizabeth Sung.

We’re looking forward to learning and engaging with the faculty presenters for this course:

Elizabeth Sung, Ph.D., Visiting Professor in Theology, Regent College (Vancouver, Canada) and Theologian-in-Residence and Senior Fellow, The InterVarsity Institute. Dr. Sung taught for nine years at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School as Associate Professor of Biblical and Systematic Theology, receiving the “Faculty of the Year” award. Her dissertation (2011) is titled “‘Race’ and Ethnicity Discourse and the Christian Doctrine of Humanity: A Systematic Sociological and Theological Appraisal.”

Rev. Dr. Jeff Liou, Director of Theological Formation with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and Adjunct Professor at Fuller Theological Seminary. Dr. Liou teaches a Fuller Seminary course on Martin Luther King, Jr.: Theology and Ethics. Dr. Liou earned his PhD from Fuller Theological Seminary, where he studied the intersection of race and theology. He has contributed chapters to books on Asian American Christianity and ethics in pastoral ministry. Dr. Liou has also worked as a pastor, university chaplain, and adjunct professor.

Rev. Dr. Robert Chao Romero, Professor of Chicana/o Studies and Asian American Studies at UCLA. Dr. Chao Romero is “Asian-Latino.” He received his Ph.D. from UCLA in Latin American History and his Juris Doctor from U.C. Berkeley, and is also an attorney. Romero has published 15 academic books and articles on issues of race, immigration, history, education, and religion, including Brown Church: Five Centuries of Latina/o Social Justice, Theology, and Identity, published by IVP in May 2020. He received the Latina/o Studies book award from the international Latin American Studies Association.

Course Description: This course does not presuppose a religious commitment, but is designed for faculty of all backgrounds who want to explore the Christian tradition and the resources it offers for human flourishing. This course will build on the previous faculty course taught by Dr. Angela Simms by providing a theological perspective on the problem of racism. We will consider biblical teaching about God’s identity, purposes, and actions in creating and redeeming the world, which reveal what is true, right, just, and good for human beings in living with God and their neighbors. This biblical-theological vision offers wisdom for anyone seeking racial justice and healing, and for those who are followers of Jesus, it offers a general basis for discerning God’s will. This course will provide opportunity for faculty to engage with the faculty presenters and one another in break-out discussion groups.
In sessions One and Two, Regent College Professor/Scholar-in-Residence Dr. Elizabeth Sung will present essential biblical-theological and ethical frameworks to help interrogate and guide our responses to racist patterns embedded in our personal lives, faith communities, and other societal institutions. The final session will engage the theology of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., as a case study in Christian theological reflection and practice, followed by a conversation about this theology in practice with UCLA historian Dr. Robert Chao Romero, theologian Dr. Jeff Liou, and Dr. Sung.
Is this course for you? This course might be for you if:
  • You want to continue learning about racism and explore the Christian tradition and its theological resources for racial justice and healing.
  • You are looking for a group setting in which to ask questions and learn with faculty peers.
  • You’ve read a few books, but still have lots of questions.
  • You’d like to invite a few of your faculty colleagues to engage these important questions together.
To attend this courseplease register here.
This course is co-hosted by InterVarsity Faculty Ministry and The Veritas Forum. We’re hoping this course will offer faculty from diverse religious/faith and secular perspectives a space to explore these important questions about racism with the resources of Christian theology. We welcome you to invite faculty colleagues from your university or field to attend this course with you. This is a great opportunity to learn together. We hope you can join us!

Ashley Byrd
InterVarsity Faculty Ministry, Associate Director
Veritas Forum, Director of Forums

Kathy Cooper
InterVarsity Graduate & Faculty Ministries
Regional Director, GFM Northeast Region

Efficacy and Safety of COVID-19 Vaccines

Webinar, Friday, April 16, 4pm

Link to the recording.

Co-Presenters: Dr. John Chae and Dr. Amy Ray

Hosted by the Grad & Faculty InterVarsity Christian Fellowship of the Ohio Valley. This one-hour webinar will also include Q/A session using zoom technology

John Chae, MDJohn Chae, MD photo
Vice President, Research and Sponsored Programs
The MetroHealth System
Professor and Chair, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Professor, Biomedical Engineering
Case Western Reserve University

Amy Ray, MDAmy Ray, MD photo
Director of Infection Control
The MetroHealth System
Associate Professor, Medicine
Case Western Reserve University

Dr. Chae will present on the accelerated clinical trials process and vaccine efficacy, and Dr. Ray will present on vaccine safety from the clinical trials and since FDA Emergency Use Authorization of the Pfizer and Moderna, and now the Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

Zoom link sent upon request.
Email organizer:


ESN Conversation: Public Intellectuals and the Common Good

Thursday, February 18, at 12 pm ET
Have you been asked to talk about your work in church, at a local school, on local media, or with a community group. Do you blog about scholarly matters? Have you been asked to be on a board or commission because of your expertise. If you have done any of these or considered this work, you are a public intellectual. This Thursday at 12 pm ET, we are talking with Jerry Pattengale, a co-editor of Public Intellectuals and the Common Good. We will explore how to pursue this work forthrightly as Christians, and constructively in a divisive time.
If you are able to attend, sign up at Feel free to share with others.
Graphic for webinar. Includes photos  of Jerry Patebgale and his book cover

COVID-19 Vaccines and Fetal Cell Lines: Ethical and Moral Implications

Friday, February 5, 2021

Hosted by The Ohio Valley Grad & Faculty ministry- Intervarsity


John Chae, MD
Vice President, Research and Sponsored Programs
The MetroHealth System
Professor and Chair, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Professor, Biomedical Engineering,
Case Western Reserve University

Video Link to Webinar Recording

Resources from Webinar

Email Howard Van Cleave questions and comments.

Finding Hope In Trying Times

Video recordings available. Links below.
A webinar hosted by the Ohio Valley Grad and Faculty Ministry of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship.
Presenters:  Dr. Gordon Smith
This will be an opportunity to connect our present experiences with Covid-19, how we an have hope in this extraordinary period living through a pandemic.  We listen to one of the most gifted academic and theologian who is well versed in not only the scriptures but in the spiritual implications in life, Dr. Gordon Smith.  He is President and professor of Systematic and Spiritual Theology at Ambrose University.  This 37 minute lecture on Hope in a time of Covid is followed by a Q/A session before Part II..  
Presenters:  Hakon Torkjesen and Dr. Karen Olness MD

This 40 minute presentation will focus on the experience of a survivor as he and his wife describe what life was like in a Japanese internment camp  in China during World War II.  A time for Q/A will follow.  Note:  This camp is where Eric Liddell [Chariots of Fire] was also imprisoned with nearly 2,000 others and Eric became the surrogate father of our guest presenter, now 92 but then only a teenager. Join us to hear about this extraordinary example of faith under trying times.


Group Study/Discussion

The group meets weekly at noon (eastern time) on The Gospels from a Jewish Perspective book cover
Thursdays starting January 21 on Zoom
Book:  The Gospels from a Jewish Perspective
Author:  Bob Warren
Study moderator/leader:  Dr. Ben Humphrey
Book is available at: under the resources tab (order now – allow 8 days shipping)
From the Author:
“…after spending time in Israel and rubbing elbows with [Jews] and Hebrew Christian alike, I realized that I, as a Gentile, was handicapped when it came to the variety of issues discussed, not only in the Gospels but in all of God’s Word. Jesus was a Jew. The disciples were Jews. …Considering that almost all the Old and New Testament writers were of Jewish descent, it makes sense that Gentiles need to consider the Jewish perspective when examining the Scriptures….
For more information or to get the Zoom link contact Howard Van Cleave via email or voice/text:  614-404-7076
If you do not yet have the book please plan to join the discussion/study on January 21 anyway.  We will cover the introduction & background to the Gospels, pages 1-12.

Dead Theologians Discussion Group

Meets weekly online on ZoomShantung Compound Book Cover

Start date: January 13, Wednesday, 7:45am (Eastern time)

Book: Shantung Compound: The Story of Men and Women Under Pressure
ISBN: 0–06-063112-0
Author: Dr. Langdon Gilkey

About the book

Langdon Gilkey was a young American teacher at Yenching University near Pekig, China, when the Japanese military under wartime press ion rounded up all foreigners into an internment camp. Shantung Compound is based on a journal Dr. Kilkey kept during his imprisonment. Along with Gilkey were nearly 2000 others, a cross-section of humanity, businessmen, families, lawyers, doctors, missionaries (including Eric Liddell, [Chariots of Fire] the gold medal winner of the 400 yr. dash in the 1924 Olympics), junkies, prostitutes, little children, the old and infirm – in all about 2000 people. You will read of the moral problems arising in this polyglot community, some shocking and responses often surprising during their 2 1/2 year ordeal.

Time Magazine wrote: The camp became a living laboratory, a miniature society that illustrated the human condition and moral dilemmas in a way that would not have been possible had more conventional conditions prevailed. Shantung Compound, is a “fascinating memoir that is both a vivid diary of prison life and a theologian’s mature reflection on the condition of man in times of stress.”

Special Guest:
Among the missionaries imprisoned was a mother and her three children from Norway . One of her children at the time was a teenager named Hakon. Today Hakon is 92 and he and his wife are living on an organic farm in Minnesota. They will be our special guests on January 29, noon Eastern, for a webinar and we will hear his first-hand account of the ordeal his family went through, the special relationship with Eric Liddell who became his surrogate father, and answer our questions.

For more information and link to the Zoom discussion please contact Dr. Paul Post at OSU: or Howard Van Cleave voice/text: 614-404-7076

ESN Conversation with Diana Gruver on Companions in the Darkness

November 24, 12 pm ET.

Did you know that some of the most famous Christians through history experienced depression? Did you know graduate students are six times more likely to experience anxiety and depression than the general population? Drawing on these stories and her own experience, Diana Gruver will offer practical help for those experiencing the darkness, and those who walk with them. Sign up for this important conversation at

ESN Conversation with Diana Gruver on Companions in the Darkness Flyer including her photo and book cover.